"Eating Your Words" by William Grimes; Oxford, 2004; $20.
William Grimes, former restaurant reviewer for The New York Times, playfully uses a familiar phrase, "Eating Your Words," for the title of his new book. It's subtitled "2000 words to tease your taste buds."
"The vocabulary of food has exploded in recent years," Grimes writes, and France no longer enjoys a monopoly over the language of eating and cooking. So here is his primer of the new international language of food, including help with pronunciation.
An A-to-Z section takes readers from acorn squash and adobo to zuppa inglese and zwieback. These may sound familiar, but in between are the exotic regions of cherimoya and feijoada, nuoc cham and stifado, where a little help may be welcome in pinning down an exact definition. For absolute beginners, there are entries for chef, coffee and tea.